With a new year comes new scams, and some are more sophisticated than ever.
7News spoke with a national expert for the top scam predictions of 2020.
As we head into a new decade it would be fitting that the newest scam warning seems to come straight out of a sci fi movie.
“The one that both intrigues me, and scares me the most, is artificial intelligence being used in what we call deep fakes and other ways of scamming,” said Steven Weisman the founder of Scamicide.com.
Weisman predicts A.I. technology will be increasingly used against you.
“Using artificial intelligence the bad guys are able to make videos and sound that appear to be just like the people they are mimicking. And this is being used, so far, against large companies, but we’re going to see this drop down against individuals,” said Weisman.
The Bentley University Professor sites the case of a UK CEO who was conned into wiring hundreds of thousands because he thought he was on the phone with his boss in Germany.
“It puts more and more doubt in your head of what your reading is actually true or it’s just been someone faking it,” said Trevor Bachman in Greenville, who has seen recent warnings about “deep fake” scams.
Weisman also predicts three scams we’ve seen before will explode in 2020:
- Ransomware: Where scammers hijack computers demanding money
- Romance scams: Where victims are lured by social media predators
- Data breaches with a new twist.
“What a lot of people haven’t realized is a new trend. The new trend is the information from these data breaches is gathered so that the criminals know a lot more about who we are and what our interests are,” said Weisman.
Weisman says that makes physhing scams all the more effective.
“A lot of holiday gifts will connect your home to the internet from video doorbells, to smart home devices to TVs. And that leads to another warning, this one from the FBI.”
The agency urges people to change default passwords on your TV’s and devices to prevent hackers from spying on you.
Finally, Weisman predicts 2020 will be the year of the election scam.
“You are going to be getting text messages, emails purportedly from the various campaigns or political organizations and they will have links for you to click on to get information or even solicit contributions. And a lot of these are going to be scams,” said Weisman.
To avoid many of these scams follow these three golden rules:
- Don’t click on links in email or social media
- If an organization contacts you first, always verify it’s legitimate before giving any private information.
- Be religious about changing passwords on all smart devices.